JAILED: Top West Midlands prosecutor Iain Farrimond gets six years after he stabbed wife in the head as she slept before their wedding anniversary
A highly regarded senior court prosecutor who stabbed his wife in the head as she slept after a bout of depression brought on by the pressures of work has been jailed for six years.
Iain Farrimond had enjoyed an impeccable career with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) but attacked his wife in their bedroom in "desperation" at his situation, the day before their wedding anniversary.
The 54-year-old solicitor told police immediately afterwards he had intended his assault in the early hours of May 26 to be the "day of death".
But later, he told paramedics treating him: "What have I done?"
Having failed to kill his wife Tina of 28 years with a large kitchen knife, he then beat her with a wooden ornamental cat - only stopping the assault when she pleaded with him.
At Nottingham Crown Court on Friday, Farrimond, who had penned a suicide note at the scene of the assault, was jailed for six years after admitting attempted murder.
Judge Gregory Dickinson, sentencing "loving and devoted husband" Farrimond, described it as a sad case, committed while the attacker was "in the grip of severe depressive illness".
He added: "But for the effects of your illness, you don't have a violent bone in your body".
Mr Dickinson said that since 1993 Farrimond had "worked hard in an important and demanding role, for the benefit of the public" with the CPS, before his depression took hold that night.
The judge told him: "Your intention was to kill your wife, and commit suicide.
"Forgive me, but thank God you failed."
After sending Farrimond down, the judge added: "Can I say how sorry I am to see good people before the court."
Farrimond, of Battenhall Road in Worcester, had been employed with the Birmingham CPS for about 23 years, latterly as a senior crown prosecutor, the court heard.
Prosecuting Bill Emlyn Jones said: "He enjoyed a good career and was well regarded but had more recently been suffering stress at work."
In the immediate run-up to the attack, Farrimond returned from work and that evening he and his wife enjoyed a normal night in, where nothing seemed amiss.
Mr Emlyn Jones said the couple chatted about plans for their wedding anniversary which fell on May 27, and had booked the weekend away to celebrate.
Farrimond's wife went to bed first but became aware of her husband "tossing and turning" at one point.
Mr Emlyn Jones described what she remembered had happened next: "She awoke because she could 'feel something on me'.
"She found her husband had armed himself with a large knife, and was stabbing her in the face and head.
"She screamed out but he continued."
He added: "She fought him off and managed to disarm him, but he took up a large ornamental cat and began to strike Mrs Farrimond to the head."
His wife managed to get to the bathroom of the family home, while Farrimond called 999 and went downstairs into the back garden equipped with another large knife which he then turned on himself.
During an eight-minute call to the emergency operator, he said "I can't go on", explaining how he had stabbed his wife "really badly" but "just couldn't do it".
The court was told that the call-taker could hear Farrimond's wife crying in the background.
He later told officers: "I thought today was going to be the day of death. I couldn't get that right."
Farrimond, appearing in the dock wearing a striped formal shirt, did suffer a self-inflicted stab wound to his abdomen but has since recovered.
When officers arrived, he said: "I know what I've done, I know the implications, I know exactly what's happening.
"I will tell you everything."
After being taken to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, he told doctors: "I tried to kill my wife, I tried to kill myself."
He added: "I was going to kill us all."
Farrimond, who had been prescribed anti-depressant fluoxetine, told officers he intended his fatal attack to be quick but as Mr Emlyn Jones explained "to his horror, she awoke".
The Crown's barrister added that the motive for Farrimond's attack "had been his increasing feeling that he couldn't cope at work and was worried he'd have to leave his job."
He added: "His increased workload and the introduction of the digital case system (by the CPS), which he was struggling to cope with, led him to desperation.
"He'd rationalised to himself the consequences of losing his job, and feared his wife would not be able to cope.
"That had crystallised in his mind as he lay unable to sleep in the small hours of the 26th of May."
The court heard a statement from his wife, who said Farrimond had been "the perfect husband" and was "the most loving, caring person I know".
She added: "I love him very much. I want him to receive the medical treatment he needs."
Mrs Farrimond, who had been in a relationship with him for 31 years in all, added: "All I want is for us to be a family again.
"Iain needs to get better and I will help with this in any way I can.
"I just want my husband to come home."
The court was told his wife, who suffered five stab wounds and a fractured eye-socket in the attack, had enjoyed a "remarkably successful" recovery from her physical injuries.
After the hearing, A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said: "We are aware of this case and our sympathies are with all those affected by it.
"The well-being of our staff is of the utmost importance and we have made the management of stress and stress-related illnesses a priority.
"We have implemented a number of initiatives to help staff.
"These include a free, 24-hour confidential helpline staffed by qualified counsellors, advisers and legally trained specialists, while we recently rolled out a scheme that provides tips and techniques on ways to tackle workplace pressure and maintain a healthy work-life balance."
He added: "Stress-related absence in the CPS has been falling year-on-year since 2013 and we will continue to introduce measures to reduce it further."
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